Dwarves (or dwarfs) are creatures from Norse mythology, and later made popular by folklore and fairytales. They are now a common staple of fantasy literature and gaming. In mythology they are associated with the earth, craft, metal-working and greed. They can also be linked with mythological elves, and sometimes associated with death. It is debateable whether or not they were short or of human size in the earlier mythological accounts, but in folklore and fairytales have long been described as short, stocky characters. Tolkien’s dwarves made a huge impact on their portrayal in fantasy fiction, and now they are usually shown as small, bearded, fond of drink and gold, and as gifted metal-workers.